It wasn’t long ago that many saw social media as a fad – a pastime for young adults to share their daily lives. In recent years however, businesses are making a name for themselves through websites like Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest and that shows no signs of stopping.

Embracing social media is pivotal if you want your business to succeed. Whether you’re connecting with your customers are trying to gain new ones, an active social media presence is crucial to keep your business thriving and growing.

If you aren’t sold quite yet, read these benefits of using social media and see how marketing yourself through social media can help you.

Expand Your Reach

You can send out fliers and magazines all you want, but social media remains one of the most effective ways to reach a large customer base. If you’re target demographic is younger people, remember that these people are constantly checking social media with their mobile devices. Communicating with them in this way also makes it easy for them to share your posts and recommend you to their friends. This is a great way to expand your business by “word of mouth,” except now it’s all done online. Keep in mind too, it isn’t just young people on social media anymore as more and more people are embracing it.

Create a Persona

Giving your business a distinct personality is a good way to appeal to both new and old customers. Think about it, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have cultivated very different cultures and attract and keep different customers as a result. Creating a social media page can help set the tone of your company through words and pictures can set you apart from your competitors. Customers want to speak with you through social media, and the way you respond to them will help establish what you are all about. If you are formal or if you are silly, the way you present your company will attract customers who are comfortable with the way you do business, which could lead to higher conversion rates.

Promotions and Deals

People love savings, and social media can help you notify your customers instantly. It’s easy to post links or images of coupons for customers to print or access on their mobile devices. You can post announcements on Facebook days before your sale to build hype. Twitter makes it easy for people to share your news quickly, even if your sale only lasts a few hours. Facebook also has applications like Sweepstakes, which makes it easy to conduct raffles and giveaways.

User Generated Content

While you can brand and market yourself until the sun goes down, the information that people trust most will always come from ordinary customers. Social media pages allow anybody to post feedback and questions in a public format. You can also generate responses by creating questionnaires and surveys. If a customer brings forth an issue with your business, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you address the problem promptly and politely, people will gain a positive image of your dedication to customer service.

Communicate With Other Businesses

No matter what kind of small business you have, you will have to deal with competitors. Odds are high that they’re already on social media, so by refusing to join you can be harming your business. Social media also makes it easy to communicate with other businesses, for example, your suppliers. You may even be able to make agreements with similar businesses to share customers. If you can direct a customer to a place that will meet his or her needs better, you can be sure to get reciprocation.

Final Thoughts

Remember, your company’s growth depends entirely on your customers, so it’s important to do everything you can to connect with them. Setting up social media pages for your company is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to do just that. If this all seems overhwelming, contacting a social media agency for help may be best. These agencies can run your social media pages, allowing you to benefit from the increase in customers while still letting you to focus on other parts of your business.

Blog Post written by Renata – Renata was an intern at DSM and will be graduating Ramapo College in May 2013 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in writing.